A Dog's Purpose video alleging animal abuse 'misleading,' report says
Investigators conclude controversial footage edited to stoke outrage, American Humane statement says
Controversial footage from the film set of A Dog's Purpose that sparked outrage and a boycott was manipulated and "mischaracterized events on the set," according to a statement released by American Humane Association.
The animal welfare organization, which was in charge of supervising animals on set of the comedy-drama about a canine searching for the meaning of life, said the results come from an "independent, third-party investigation" following the release last month to TMZ of video showing a dog appearing to be distressed and forced to jump into rushing water for a stunt.
"The video was deliberately edited for the purpose of misleading the public and stoking outrage," the statement reads. "In fact, the two scenes shown in the edited video were filmed at different times."
According to American Humane, the dog was chosen because of its love for the water and was conditioned for the water scenes over a six-week period. American Humane trained the animals used on the set of the Manitoba-shot film.
CBC News has contacted American Humane for a full copy of the report and the name of the investigating entity but has not yet heard back. The company did not reveal the names of the people behind the investigation.
American Humane said on its website the report's conclusions were made from a combination of investigative findings and eyewitness reports. It also recognized that handlers could have been more cautious, given the dog in the video appeared "momentarily stressed."
"American Humane believes that the handling of the dog in the first scene in the video should have been gentler and signs of stress recognized earlier."
After the video became public, animal rights organizations including PETA called for a boycott of the film. Cast and crew spoke out against the treatment, sparking further questions. It also led to a lacklustre opening when the movie, which stars Dennis Quaid, came out.
"The decisions by the individual or individuals who captured and deliberately edited the footage, and then waited longer than 15 months to release the manipulated video only days before the movie's premiere, raise serious questions about their motives and ethics," the statement read.